Use of your NHS number
If you are receiving support from Adult Social Care, then the NHS and other partners will share your NHS number with us, and we will share it with them - they law says we must.. This is so that the NHS and Adults Social Care are using the same number to identify you whilst providing your care. By using the same number the NHS and Adult Social Care can work together more closely to improve your care and support.
Your NHS number is accessed through an NHS service called the Personal Demographic Service (PDS). Adult Social Care sends basic information such as your name, address and date of birth to the PDS so they can find your NHS number. Once retrieved from the PDS the NHS number is stored on the Council’s Adult Social Care system which is called Liquid Logic. If you object to the use of your NHS number please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who can access my NHS number?
Health and social care professionals directly involved in care will be able to access to the most up-to-date information about a patient, and researchers may also use your data in secure settings to enable us to evaluate new approaches, monitor effectiveness of existing services and deliver improved services.
Why do we do this?
The use of joined up information across health and social care brings many benefits. One specific example where this will be the case is the discharge of patients into social care. At the moment delays in discharge (commonly known as bed blocking) can occur because details of social care involvement are not readily available to the staff on the hospital ward. The hospital simply does not know who to contact to discuss the ongoing care of a patient. The linking of social care and health information via the NHS number will help hospital staff quickly identify if social care support is already in place and who the most appropriate contact is. Ongoing care can be planned earlier in the process because hospital staff will know who to talk to.
Sharing information is already delivering the benefits below for patients in Leicester:
- Fewer unnecessary clinical tests
- More accurate prescriptions
- Better self-management for patients
- Better co-ordinated and safer care
- More time to spend on clinical care
- Less paperwork
- More efficient use of healthcare services
The addition of adult social care data, enabled via the storage of the NHS number, will bring the additional benefits:
- Better co-ordinated and safer care across health and social care enabled through the sharing of real-time information.
- Better coordination of discharges from hospital into social care, as explained above
- More time to spend on planning and co-ordinating social care because health staff can identify and involve social care staff earlier in the process.
- Earlier intervention to maximise the opportunities or reablement services leading to greater independence for patients
- Less paperwork and more efficient use of social care resources.
Where will my NHS number appear?
The NHS number will also be printed on a subset of social care printed documentation that is specifically used to communicate between health and social care organisations. This brings the benefit of better co-ordinated and safe care across health and social care through the use of the unique identifier rather than a reliance on name and date of birth to identify a patient.
These printed forms relate to:
- Support and care planning
- Reablement and rehabilitation
- Medical consent
- GP consent
- Transitional beds
- Deprivation of liberty
- Case review.
Can I opt out?
You have the right to object to the processing of your NHS Number. This will not stop you from receiving care, but may limit how we are able to support you. To help you decide, we will discuss with you how this may affect our ability to provide you with care, and any other options you have.